Well, this is sobering. I’ve never slapped myself in the face with a wet towel before, but I can imagine that this must be what it feels like. Dana Milbank’s new column at the Washington Post gives us the happy news that we are closer to a civil war than we think and that our nation plummeted so far in the four years that Donald Trump was in office that now the country is rated an “anocracy” which is a midway point between democracy and an autocratic state. And guess what? Switzerland is the world’s longest continuing democracy, not us.

Citing the Center for Systemic Peace’s “Polity” data set — the one the CIA task force has found to be most helpful in predicting instability and violence — Walter writes that the United States is now an “anocracy,” somewhere between a democracy and an autocratic state.

U.S. democracy had received the Polity index’s top score of 10, or close to it, for much of its history. But in the five years of the Trump era, it tumbled precipitously into the anocracy zone; by the end of his presidency, the U.S. score had fallen to a 5, making the country a partial democracy for the first time since 1800. “We are no longer the world’s oldest continuous democracy,” Walter writes. “That honor is now held by Switzerland, followed by New Zealand, and then Canada. We are no longer a peer to nations like Canada, Costa Rica, and Japan, which are all rated a +10 on the Polity index.”

Dropping five points in five years greatly increases the risk of civil war (six points in three years would qualify as “high risk” of civil war). “A partial democracy is three times as likely to experience civil war as a full democracy,” Walter writes. “A country standing on this threshold — as America is now, at +5 — can easily be pushed toward conflict through a combination of bad governance and increasingly undemocratic measures that further weaken its institutions.”

Others have reached similar findings. The Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance put the United States on a list of “backsliding democracies” in a report last month. “The United States, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies itself,” the report said. And a new survey by the academic consortium Bright Line Watch found that 17 percent of those who identify strongly as Republicans support the use of violence to restore Trump to power, and 39 percent favor doing everything possible to prevent Democrats from governing effectively.

The question now is whether we can pull back from the abyss Trump’s Republicans have led us to. There is no more important issue; democracy is the foundation of everything else in America. Democrats, in a nod to this reality, are talking about abandoning President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda in favor of pro-democracy voting rights legislation. Republicans will fight it tooth and nail.

We are at the “open insurgency” stage of civil conflict. We saw that breakdown in our society last January. Now we listen to the former guy and his minions on Fox News talk about how the insurrection wasn’t an insurrection.

And then there’s the most recent from this idiot. Two things from her, as a matter of fact.

Here’s the other one.

This is insane. There are now more guns in America than there are people. You’ve no doubt caught the stories of toddlers shooting each other or shooting their parents.

America is in enough of a state of civil breakdown to where we could lose our way of life. This is not hyperbole. We’ve all seen how the country has deteriorated in the Era of Trump and now objective studies are codifying the damage and learned papers are being written about it.

You’re no doubt thinking, as am I, what are we going to do to reverse this? I see one major area that needs to be addressed and that is that right-wing media has to stop ginning up lies everyday and inciting the lunatic fringe in this country. I honestly believe that if that matter can be tended to that we can survive this rough patch in our history.

Maybe when the Dominion and Smartmatic suits are settled, that will set things going in the right direction. I fervently hope so. I never thought a voting machine company could end up being the linchpin holding democracy together but then I never thought a talk show host buffoon could become president, either. Live and learn.

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  1. I would have thought that an ‘anocracy’ was a country run by an anus (which, let’s face it – the US was in that category from 2017 to 2021)

      • Actually his statement adds a touch of dark intellectual humor to the conversation … dark humor in trying times being evidence of a deeper intelligence . To take it a step further his comment on the previous administration is completely accurate in light of the simple indisputable fact that it was the previous administration that played us firmly into the anocracy we currently find ourselves in .

        Whereas your comment .. is nothing more than feeble trollish snark in the futile attempt to prove the self deception of your own intellectual superiority

        Dr TJ Martin PhD Philosophy , Ethics and Apologetics

        • You should dumb down your statement. I want to support what you said but I’m probably only 70 percent sure I understand what you think you know about what you said. So, at best, I hope what you said supports my beliefs. AND I’m educated.

  2. We are certainly on the cusp of something. At this point, I think it could be something good, but I doubt it.

    Thank you for this article. It is gob smacking to have third party verification of what a lot of us have thought for a while. Diagnosis is important in the healing process. It doesn’t guarantee a happy outcome but is an important first step.

    • I was massively alarmed by this. I never thought I would read anything like this about this country. I know this isn’t the same place where I was born, the last day of Harry Truman’s presidency, but this is getting downright scary. I never thought I would read America isn’t a democracy anymore.

      • Sadly Ursula … this has been coming for a very very long time . But rather than being alarmed may I make a reading suggestion that will help you to better understand the times we are in as well as the fact that where we are has happened many many times in the past

        ” At the End of an Age ” John Lukacs

  3. It seems to me that this was going on for much longer. I already felt these anxieties with the W, though it clearly exploded with Trump. I see Trump as more like one of the symptoms rather than the sole cause. That said, I do agree that the authoritarian side seems to be winning presently and we’re not mounting a solid, unflinching opposition to put a stop to it.

    • You’re absolutely correct that Trump is the symptom, not the cause. Obama said that. The strains of grievance in this country have been with us for a very long time. The flammable material was stacked high and Trump was the match. That’s why things have exploded. And that’s why the MAGAs love him, because he’s so stupid and destructive and yet he gets away with it. That’s how they want to be, rich without working for it, famous for being an asshole, and never having to live with consequences. That’s why they worship him. I get it. I really do.

  4. According to Babary Walter, although America’s decline as a Democracy may have begun DURING the Trump administration due to a myriad of conditions and situations, America was not declared as an Anocracy until January 2021 when the Boden Administration took power.

    • In big bold print, right on the home page of systemicpeace.org, which is Barbary Walter’s source:
      “NOTE: The USA has dropped below the “democracy threshold” (+6) on the POLITY scale in 2020 and is considered an anocracy (+5) at the end of the year 2020.”
      Did you misread something, or did you spin that lie out of whole MAGA cloth?

  5. Most of you are just ignorant and really have no clue what’s been going on. Most of you should be ashamed of yourselves. The truth is, most corporations are owned by democrats. Democrats are the wealthy in the US.
    The Democrats want to be solely in charge and forced authoritarianism on the US. Well here’s some news for you. We aren’t taking it. If the military doesn’t start arrest all of those idiots in government, we will do it ourselves.
    It’s going to be very messy. Democrats should have packed their shit and left America, but they were too stupid to see the writing on the wall. Just goes to show you college education doesn’t mean shit. Garbage in garbage out. That’s college!
    The truth is, the US government has created more problems then they have solved. Greed has destroyed some of America’s finest institutions. This reckoning has been coming for a long time. Democrats just can’t read the writing on the wall!

    • I don’t know what drugs you take but I’d sure as hell like some of whatever you’re smoking given how out there you seem to be.

      Seriously though I find WILLFUL ignorance not just annoying but sadly repulsive. It must take some serious dedication and effort to remain so willfully ignorant about so many things. As for your threat, you or any of your cronies come for this ole jarhead you’ll find that being old and broken down doesn’t mean I’ll be giving in to your bullshit. I will however be nice and offer a helpful tip – instead of a full sized one, bring one of those tiny little “table decoration” Confederate, Nazi, Trump, Q etc. flags. It will hurt less when I shove it up your willfully ignorant, fascist ass!)

    • What an idiot. You must be drunk on your Qanon koolaid. Morons like you need to be in Russia or China or maybe Noth Korea. You wouldnt like what you’re hoping for once you were there. Just keep holding your breath asshole waiting on JFK and JFK Jr to come help you magaots out. You arent the only ones with guns!!

  6. The United States was never meant to be a Democracy. The United States was founded as a Constitutional Republic. However, if we are anything other than that at this point we would be considered and Oligarchy.


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